Friday, December 26, 2014

A great holiday

I hope everyone had a great holiday. We had a house filled with family and it was wonderful. There were lots of laughs, food, and gifts. We are definitely blessed.

Earlier in the week we went to the Trail of Lights which is a fun part of our Christmas traditions. Local groups and small businesses put together their own little booths of decorations which include lots of lights and cute photo props.

Then on Tuesday we spent a couple of hours at the DMV. I swear it takes more paperwork to apply for a driving permit than it takes to buy a house! It was crazy. But, Addison and Wyatt felt like they were ready, so they went and took their tests and now we have two drivers with learning permits. Kirsten and Abigail are going to go on Monday. Dax and I are still a little in shock with how quickly it seems like this has all happened. It's looking like our new year will be bringing even more changes as our babies continue to grow up. How do we keep that from happening? lol

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Wow! I never got around to posting about Thanksgiving.  Dax and I leave the day after and are gone for 10 days getting in a big chunk of continuing education hours. As you can imagine, it's crazy at the office when we get back. And this time of the year is always full of activities anyway.

So, we were short a few people this year for Thanksgiving. Dax's parents had an emergency come up in the extended family so couldn't be here with us. Their absence was definitely noticed. Thankfully things there are better now.

Kirsten and Grandma made these cute little turkeys.

I didn't manage to get it in the picture, but ine if those little turkeys has his head on upside down. Poor thing.....then we ate him.

After she did such a good job on the turkey's, we put Kirsten in charge of hors de vours.

She's really just slicing Little Debbie snacks. I guess we'll give her an 'E' for effort. 

I did make these crackers this year. I like to try something new each year.

They taste delicious and are super easy to make. It's a Ritz cracker wrapped in bacon with a little brown sugar on top. Then you put them in a 250 degree oven and bake them for (here's the kicker) 2 HOURS. But, trust me, they're worth it!!

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves. We ate too much, but the food and the company were good.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sweet 16

The kids turned 16!! How in the world did that happen? Times goes by so fast, but it's been a blast this far. We're so fortunate!

The day started with balloons. Lots and lots of balloons.



And after:

Now that was a lot of balloons! Dax and I used little hand held pumps to blow them all up, but our fingers were sore for days afterwards from tieing all those knots.

We let the kids skip school that day so we could spend it having fun. We took them to do a little shopping, then to a favorite Chinese food buffet.

Then we followed that up with a hockey game to see the Texas Stars play. It was great. Our seats were close to where the players came out of the locker rooms so the kids got to give them high fives. They loved it!!

It was teddy bear day, so after the first goal by the home team everyone throws stuffed animals out into the ice. They are gathered up to be donated to charities for children. They collected over 3,000 animals!! Awesome!

Then they had the kids names on the jumbo-tron announcing their birthday. They thought that was pretty cool too.

All in all it was a great day.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Not my fault....

I know it's been forever, but this time it's actually not my fault. lol My computer contracted a couple of really nasty viruses. There were two different ones that are new that each did a lot of damage in completely different ways. We tried for a couple of days to make repairs to no avail. Then we took it to the computer doctor and after he spent a week trying to save it, we had to concede defeat and wipe the hard drive clean and start from square one. Not only did we have to reload all of the programs for work, we had to go back and retrieve (thank goodness we had carbonite) all of the files and pictures that were specific to my computer. At this point we've spent roughly three weeks trying to get things back to regular working order again, and I'm still finding little things here and there that we missed. It's just crazy.

So, let's see. Where did we leave off?

For Halloween, since none of our kids want to dress up anymore, Kirsten and Addison went to the square in town and watched the little trick-or-treaters there. Dax and I love to go watch them each year, and I think that the girls had fun too. At first they told us that we were kind of creepy for doing it, but then they realized that it's fun to watch the little kids so excited in their costumes.

Here are two of my favorites:

How cute are they?!

Addison's concussion is all healed now. She was terribly disappointed at having to miss the final two games of the fall season. She's decided to go ahead and try out for the high school team, although there are apparently only 4 open positions. It appears that returning players have to go through the motions of trying out, but their team positions are reserved for them. Not sure I agree with doing it that way, but I'm not the coach so I don't get a say.

Abigail has started the skating class in order to play hockey. Not crazy about that idea, but she really wants to play. *sigh*

I looked at this picture that Kirsten took recently, and I can't believe how grown-up my babies are getting.

Hold on to them while you can!! They grow up much too quickly and long before you're ready to handle it. Heed my advise on this one, people.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The fun never stops!

On Saturday, while Kirsten and I made her costume for Friday's performance, Dax took the other three kiddos to ice skate.

He got them all set up and watched them skate for awhile, and then walked down to the music store. As it so often happens, while he was gone, Addison fell and cut her chin open. It wasn't bad (not as bad as the guy that was busy showing off when he fell, cut his chin open, bled all over the ice, and they had to stop the skating while they cleaned his blood off the ice.) She said it made her face hurt because every time she talked or smiled she could feel it.

Once they left there, they headed over to an elementary school Fall Festival where Addison was volunteering to help. They stayed there for about an hour or so, but they didn't really have much for Addison to do so they let her go home early.

On Sunday we were back out at the soccer fields. Getting there was a huge mess. The fields are new and are not on everyone's GPS on their phones. Two or three girls managed to get there with no trouble, but the rest of the team was lost. The team usually tries to get there an hour before the game start time, but the bulk of the team didn't arrive until about 5 minutes before game time. As it was, there were enough girls out that Addison's team didn't have any subs. It was a really physical game and as girls got hurt and had to sit down for a few minutes, they played with two less people on the field than a full team. Addison played hard but complained with having a headache.

Well, her headache lasted throughout the night on Sunday and all day Monday. I was suspecting that she might have gotten a concussion when she fell on the ice on Saturday. Then, on Tuesday she texted me that her head was hurting worse and that she was also nauseous. Yikes!! I was certain then that she had a concussion but was concerned that something more was wrong. So, Dax picked her up from school and took her to the doctor. The doctor confirmed the concussion but sent us to get a CT Scan just to be sure that nothing else was going on. The CT Scan came back clean, which is great, and she is to take it easy for a couple of weeks. We'll see if that drives her crazy or not. She's only got two soccer games left in her season so she's a little distraught that she might not get to play. She won't be playing this weekend for sure!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Well, I guess that's the excuse I'm going to use for not posting anyway.

We have been very busy since school started.

It's soccer season so we spend a lot of our weekends watching this...

....and this.....

But there have been all kinds of other things thrown in the mix too.

Wyatt is in theater and they've already completed one performance. He chose the Children's Theater so they performed for the elementary school students. He has a good time with it and it's good for the young kids, too.

Addison and Abigail are both in FFA. They recently held their biggest fundraiser of the year which is a wild game dinner and an auction. The girls had to work at the dinner, but my parents came to help me eat the food, and it was good. Here's some of the quail cooked on the pit.

I think they raised over $15,000 that night. It all goes back into the program so it's well worth the money spent.

Kirsten is busy with Show Choir again this year. They currently practice one morning before school (which is way too early if you ask me) and one afternoon after school. They will be performing at the elementary school one day this week. Then Friday, for Halloween, they'll be performing the time warp at the high school pep rally. Kirsten will be the part of Janet. We spent some time on Saturday getting her costume made for the part. I think she'll have fun.

Addison is also on the debate team. They have practice almost everyday after school for that. Then two days a week she leaves there to head to soccer practice. Those make for very long days. A couple of weekends ago she went to compete in her first competition. She came in 5th place. That's not too bad considering that she chose not to compete in the novice division and went up against contestants that had been competing for awhile. She got some pretty good feedback from the judges too. I think the biggest strike against her was that it was obvious that she was nervous. Oh well, there are many more competitions to come.

In addition to all of that, we've started with the parent taught driver's education. Wish us luck!! I'm so not ready for this!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The things kids do

Kids are crazy. That's just all there is to it.

Recently Abigail decided she wanted to try a different kid of smoothie.

So I made it for her.....


Yep. That's it. She wanted a pizza smoothie. So that's what she had for breakfast.

I threw it in the blender....

Added some water and mixed it up.

Looks yummy, right?

Here goes nothing.....

She actually said it wasn't bad. She said it kind of tasted like soup. Maybe that's because I was nice enough to heat the pizza up and use warm water.

She's crazy, but she drank most of it.

But, then again, she hasn't asked for another. Ha!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

It was a busy first week of school. As you can imagine, there's a ton of paperwork to fill out, even though I filled out a ton online before school started.

We spent the week trying to keep track of what time school starts on which day and when it lets out.

We were all looking forward to a long weekend with plenty of relaxing, but at the last minute, we found ourselves participating in a soccer tournament.

The tournament was in San Antonio which makes it a long drive for us. But, at least this time it wasn't on the far west side so that helped.

Addison's team played in one game on Saturday and two games on Sunday. It was so hot and exhausting for the girls.

On Sunday she got knocked down and managed to scrape her knee all up.....even with the brace on!!

She's talented like that.

She caught a little nap on the way home.

Later that evening we headed to the Gunner Thames Memorial Rodeo. It's great to be entertained for the evening and also help out a good cause.

On Monday we just kind of hung around the house, relaxed a little, and geared up for the weeks ahead. It's back into the full-on crazy, busy schedules.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back to school

Wow, things get busy and time sure does get away from me!!

The kids are back in school now. But before they headed back, Dax wanted to do one last something-fun. Only Addison and Kirsten decided to go, but we went to Six Flags Fiesta Texas for the day.

Dax and Kirsten spent the day riding the rides.......

........while Addison and I spent most of the day in the water park trying to escape the heat.

We had a good time, and then they started school on Monday.

I can't believe they are Sophomores this year!!

There are lots of great things in store for them. Like the driver's ed that will be starting soon (even if Dax and I aren't ready for it!)

We wish them the best of luck in school this year. We're looking forward to a great year free from the drama that last year included.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Growing up is tough stuff

It's not easy growing up, and it's not easy watching your kids do it. Worst of all are the life lessons that really seem unfair. In the last year or so, we've seen our children go through some rough ones.

They've reached an age where there are new options open to them and their friends which lead to some hard choices to make. There have been good friends that chose to experiment with drugs. When my kids chose not to be a part of that, the friend felt like they weren't being understood or supported so ended the friendship. If that wasn't enough, the other party felt the need to be ugly about my kids at school and to other people. I'm proud of the choices that my kids made and that they didn't participate in the gossiping and name calling, but I sure hate to see them hurt over losing the friendships.

There have also been some hard lessons learned about the internet, texting, how easily things can be misunderstood, and what you 'put out there.' One of those lessons ended with a trip to the Sheriff's office. Wasn't fun to go through, but a valuable lesson was learned. One that I hope will stay with them for life.

They've seen how the actions of one person can so deeply hurt another. And they've all felt it too. They've had their grandparents (not the ones they spent time with this summer) and an aunt make the decision to cut all ties with them, through no fault of their own. Adults, who have decided that they are upset with their father and I, and chose to punish the children. How do you explain something like that when you don't really understand it yourself? Fortunately they have other grandparents, aunts, and uncles that love them unconditionally.

As a parent, I want to shield them from all of this and the hurt that comes with it. But I can't. They have to learn these things about life and about people. Not everyone in your life can be trusted. Not everyone that claims to be your friend really is. Not everyone will care about your feelings. And sometimes, even when you do the right thing, it will still feel like you're being punished. All I can do is try my best to explain things, be there to support them, and let them know they are loved.

Through it all, though, they've handled it wonderfully. Much more maturely than their 15 years. It's brought them closer together as siblings. They've learned to defend each other and to support each other. We're very proud of them and their choices.

It's always easier in the summer with no school drama, when they don't have to see anyone they don't want to. But, they're back in school now. I wonder what the chances are that this year will be drama free......

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Finally home

The kids headed to Houston to spend the week with their grandparents.

But they didn't come home for THREE weeks!!

I was starting to put together a plan to collect donations to pay a ransom. lol

They had a really great time while they were gone. It's great that their grandparents live so close to us and so close to each other. They went back and forth between the two sets while they were gone. They love their grandparents so much and really enjoy spending time with them. Maybe that's why they didn't come home for three weeks?

A good time was had by all. I know they went to the movies more than once, went camping, and went fishing.

They even sent me proof.

Addison and Wyatt both caught the same fish.

Then she actually caught one of her own.

Kirsten caught one but I didn't get a picture of that.

They said they caught more than 30 overall. I'm just glad that they finally caught some. They're too old to still believe us when we tell them that the shad (bait) on the line is a fish they caught.

Now we're getting geared up for school to start on Monday. I'm also busy getting all of the driver's education class work printed out so we can get going on that. It's time to say good-bye to the laid back summer schedule and get ready for the school year busy that's coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birthday Celebration

Since I checked in last we've been busy, as usual. But, it's all good.

As part of her pageant winnings, Addison had to ride on a float in the McDade Watermelon Festival. It's a long way from home for us and we have to be there far too early in the morning, but she likes it anyway.

Then, last week was Dax's birthday. We celebrated his big day by closing the office and taking the day off. We got up early and headed to Corpus Christi to the beach. Dax, Wyatt, and Kirsten toured the USS Lexington while the rest of us played around on the beach.

When they were done, they joined us and we continued to play in the sand and water.

Fortunately we were able to save them from the mouth of this giant shark!

As you can see, they were terrified!!

Once that was under control we headed to Blackbeard's to eat dinner before heading home.

It was a good day! I love that we can go do something like that with no fighting or whining from the kids, just an all around good time. I hope the birthday boy enjoyed the day as much as the rest of us did.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

More summer fun

The girls are still happy with their new glasses, but because of soccer (and already being hit in the face with the ball) I encouraged Addison to get contacts. She had her appointment and fitting last week and is still working on getting comfortable with putting them in and taking them out. She may decide that it's more trouble than it's worth. They've only given her a temporary set because they didn't have her prescription in stock.

We have reaped the benefits of the bounty of a friend's garden. He asked Dax if we would like some peaches, and then showed up with this!

That's a lot of peaches!! And he also brought us some giant tomatoes.

Kirsten spent the week in Houston visiting her grandparents. Everyone else had things going on, so she went by herself to play only child for the week. While she was gone, we volunteered the others to help with a search and rescue kind of camp at the college. They were volunteering to be victims. On the second day, a little while after Dax dropped them off, Addison sent me this picture and told me that she had twisted her ankle on the steps on the way into the building.

Scared me to death!!

It wasn't true. They had a professional costume makeup artist there and it was part of her trauma for the camp. Little Turkey!! After she twisted her ankle which caused her to injure her knee and spent most of the school year in physical therapy that scared me even more than it would have on it's own.

Over the weekend Addison had a pageant in Dallas. We headed out early Friday morning. Along the way I needed to stop and get gas and find some cold medicine. I pulled into a gas station in a small town right off the interstate. This was next door to the gas station.

Maybe they needed gas too? Or perhaps the Elvis impersonator that was performing at the gas station arrived in that. It was quite the interesting stop, that's for sure!

Abigail has become a huge fan of the Dallas Stars hockey team and took advantage of the trip up there. She has a friend that she met online that lives in Dallas so the two arranged to meet and take a tour of the American Airlines Center. It was a great tour. They took us all around the building, into the suites, into some of the clubs, and into the locker rooms. This thrilled the fans to no end.

After we left there, we had lunch with her friend (and her family) and then headed on to Denton where Addison's pageant was.

She didn't place in this pageant, but we all had a good time anyway. We headed home on Saturday night and got home pretty late. Dax was concerned about us getting home safely because he had had a terrible day. He tried to cut the grass (I use that term loosely) but the lawnmower broke down. Unfortunately it didn't break down until after it threw a huge rock through our bedroom window. Still waiting for the estimate to get that fixed.

Today we got our last child into braces. Don't think she'll be eating hamburgers and hot dogs for the 4th!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just living the dream

Dax was at a conference in San Antonio all week. It started on Sunday, so we celebrated Father's Day on Saturday night. We gave him his gifts, which is always good, but the best part was likely the ice cream cake!! We always love that.

I took the girls for a check up at the eye doctor on Tuesday.

By the time you get through all three appointments, it makes for a long wait at the eye doctor's office. The good news is that everybody got a good check up with no change in prescriptions. Woohoo!

But, since it's been a couple of years, Addison and Kirsten both got new glasses. I spent the latter part of the week with Dax in San Antonio, but we were able to get their new glasses on Saturday morning.

They're happy with them and that makes me happy.

On Saturday night, we went to see my niece get married. I can't believe that she's already grown up and starting a life of her own!!

It was a nice, simple wedding in a small chapel. It was nice to see a wedding that was more about the couple getting married than a show being put on.

We wish them much luck in their new life together!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Taking advantage

We've been taking advantage of summer where we can. Like I said before, we spent some time playing down at the river.
We cleaned the winter mess away and took advantage of our fire pit and roasted hot dogs......but I forgot to buy marshmallows.

The hotdogs were great! We also cooked some bananas, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows (I had those on hand.) You cut the banana lengthwise down the middle (don't peel it) open it enough to top it with chocolate chips and marshmallows, and then wrap it all up in aluminum foil. Place it on the coals until everything gets melted and gooey.

I wasn't crazy about the warm banana, but the gooey chocolate and marshmallows was great!

Hope all the Dads out there had a great Father's Day. Dax had to be at a conference on Sunday, so we celebrated on Saturday instead. He got gifts and an ice cream cake. And, really, the cake is the most important part. Right?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

School is out!!

Last Friday was the last day of school for the kids. After a week of finals they were ready for it to be over with.

Wyatt got home and set himself up in front of the computer to get his summer started.

With everyone home all day I needed to make sure the pantry was stocked, so I went to the grocery store and Kirsten texted me asking me to buy this magazine for her. I didn't tell her I bought it, I just sent her this picture. (I wonder why they think I'm nuts.....)
Abigail came home from school already starting to feel sick. She's got a nasty cold and cough. Why would anyone want to start their summer that way?
She's still a little under the weather, so on Sunday she didn't want to got with Kirsten, Addison, and I to hang out at the river for awhile. Wyatt was working with a friend and Dax also had to work, but he joined us a little later. It's nice to just stop and relax and enjoy the fun that's right here in our own community every now and then. Especially since Dax and I started working out again recently and seem to be both sore and exhausted more often than not. We're doing the Focus T25 workouts.......and I'm pretty sure the "T" stands for torture!!

It also doesn't hurt that we recently had some really good rainy days so the river actually has a lot of water in it. Gotta' enjoy that while we can!! By the end of the summer it usually only has little puddles of water.

Their days of pure relaxation will be limited this summer, though, because they have a lot to accomplish. We signed them up for College Prep and there's at least one course they'll have to finish this summer. This first one is a study skills course. Once they get that done, we'll start with driver's ed. (We are so not ready to be doing this! What happened to our babies?) We've picked up information from the state to do parent taught driver's ed and I'm looking into which course materials we want to use. I guess that all adds up to the fact that this summer will be filled with lots of learning, not much different than the rest of the school year. Oh well, we'll try to take advantage of as much fun as we can.